Although Robyn Opie Parnell has had over eighty books published, this is
her first foray into a longer novel for middle grade readers and it
displays a ‘new direction’ to her writing. Her enthusiasm for her
thoughts on the ‘spiritual connectedness with reality’ pervades this
story which starts with the main character, Maya learning about
‘universal consciousness’ from a spirit boy as she deals with the loss
of her mother.
When Maya discovers that her father is in danger in Mexico,
she must travel there with her spirit guide to rescue him while trying
to elude a mysterious villain and recover ancient crystal skulls. She
soon learns of the skulls’ significance to the future of humankind and
that her destiny is intertwined with them.
Written in the first person, Maya’s thoughts and discussions of the
spiritual can slow the pace a little while her guide explains how
‘everything in the world is connected’. But the teen voices are
realistic, it is easy to read and there is enough action and plenty of
dialogue to keep the story moving. Readers will love to hate Sophia,
Maya’s minder and enjoy the thrill of the chase through jungles and
The cover will whet the appetite for adventure with its gleaming crystal
skull staring out over a fiery ancient temple. As this book is the
first in a series, one can presume there will be more adventures to come
in seeking crystal skulls, with further insights into how Maya’s future
is linked to them.
Maya and the Crystal Skull is being marketed as a ‘paranormal thriller for children aged 8+’.